I mentioned this past weekend was meh; this is because we attempted to have a more relaxing weekend at home.
It did not work.
“Hanging out at home” for longer than a couple of hours does not seem to be an achievable goal in our house, unfortunately. (YET, anyway. I am determined. If I fixed bedtime, isn’t anything possible!?!?)
To clarify, there was relative peace while they enjoyed screen time but the aftermath was beyond annoying. This phenomenon is observable far more in the younger two; Annabel seems to be able to handle switching from her iPad to reality fairly well but the others are not there yet. For reference, A is 10, C is 8 (and a half), and G is 4.75 (lol, but I feel like 4 is inaccurate and she is not yet ‘almost 5’).
So, we will be taking a(nother) screen break. The thing is: I am old and tired and not willing to be cruise director all weekend long. I am not going to hover over them with wholesome craft ideas (that inevitably I will have to clean up). I feel like they should be able to find things to do. Interestingly this also seems to be something Annabel is generally capable of, but not the other two. Did I break them with screen time during their formative years (in G’s case at least, I can blame COVID)? Or are they just less mature?
CHORES. I probably also need to get on the chore bandwagon. Currently they will clean up when trying to meet some kind of goal (ie, get screens or a piece of chocolate . . .) but do not contribute to household operations in any other meaningful way.
MORE READING. For A&C, I will get some more books especially graphic novels from the library because that is the one thing they will do fairly happily without screens. But G can’t read yet (well, she can read 3 letter words but you know what I mean). I need to get some audiobooks but the format is tricky — I know some libraries seem to have book/audio contraptions but I don’t think ours does. Maybe I’ll download EPIC books – I’ve heard good things about that?
QUIET TIME I was thinking about having them practice doing shorter stints of ‘quiet time’ in their rooms with some kind of reward? They tend to avoid EVER being alone, especially the younger two, and yet there is ALWAYS fighting (C often playing with G juuuuuuust to the point of antagonizing her, in a sort-of playful way, but then there is crying and screaming and ugh). Asking them to hang out separately in their rooms always goes over like it’s some kind of punishment even when it’s not.
Games sound like a great idea but are very tough with all 3 because . . . well, G is not ready and it makes the whole experience feel futile and irritating.
We have done screen free months before and it has helped. I would like them to be able to enjoy screens for reasonable periods but not act entirely insane for hours afterwards, and I would like to be able to enjoy an occasional day at home. Are these pipe dreams?
I’m sure in 5 years this problem will be replaced by others . . . but this is our biggest struggle right now.
As always, tips welcome!!
(Though this weekend I plan on getting them out of the house both days.)
There were still happy moments: